P. Morris On 'TEETH,' His Process, and the Future

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Over the last few years, I've been drawn to damn near everything that P. Morris was doing. During the dog days of DAD, my love of his material was solidified by a Katy B remix he did under his former guise, MORRI$, and have followed his wave as he explores his sound over numerous projects. From the shorter, emotionally raw LOW to his more recent collection of leftfield bangers, TEETH, P. Morris has conjured up some hazy visions of the future through his intriguing mixture of sounds.

We got a chance to prod him with some questions recently, trying to get a clearer picture of everything from the scatterbrained, pop culture-drenched TEETH to the seemingly more focused LOW, as well as what he has in store for the future and why he decided to include an awe-inspiring live rendition of TEETH (recorded during a set at the legendary Low End Theory) on as a bonus track to the release. Shouts to P. Morris for indulging us.

On TEETH, there's a bonus track where you play the entire release at Low End Theory, which is a massive institution in the LA area area. Have you engrossed yourself in that community?
Not really, honestly. I’ve played there twice, otherwise I never really go there.

How did playing this project front to back come about?
Last year while touring with Shy Girls, I would record my sets, then at the end of the show, sell the night’s set and full P. Morris discography on USB drive. I really liked the way the recordings came out on the tour, so I decided to revive that idea into a live album.

I was interested in the live album format. Honestly it fell a little short of my expectations, I’ll probably do another more proper live record in the future.

As with many of your projects, TEETH spoke to me, primarily because the entire project felt like a remix of my pre-Internet days. Like Sunday afternoons where you could catch a Smart Guy rerun on TV, then flip to MTV Jams or something and see a throwback Jay Z video. Talk about the theme and vibe behind the release.
TEETH is odds and ends left over from some of my more formal releases like Daydream and Beloved. I was interested in trying to sort of put more original material through the same blender that created POP.MORRIS. I had the same idea in mind with LOW, as well, but I used drastically less samples when creating that record.

A lot of what I do is process related, which results in a particular sound. The process I went through on that selection of beats is ultimately why they ended up all grouped together as TEETH.

The project reminded me of Daydream, in the fact that it flowed like one long song or mix. When you’re working on projects like that, is it in the forefront of your head that you’ll be making subtle transitions or incorporating the tracks together so they’re more cohesive?
All of my work has to touch. Without that interaction between the pieces, there is no project to me. I also have a tendency to write in chunks, so a lot of the ideas spring from the same seed.

Talk about the different themes and vibes behind TEETH and a project like LOW, which was fewer tracks and actually featured vocalists.
Generally, I just work with what I have available. TEETH is the kind of music I can make without a ton of resources, just a computer and some samples. A piece like LOW is a little more labor intensive, putting together strings and horns and processing the sounds. It was a very tightly wound project.

I wrote LOW pretty much front to back as a full idea, more or less—excluding "Hot Life" which came together last minute, based on a demo I had recorded from bed a long time ago.

Who are some of your influences? What are you currently digging?
My main influence these days is Jim O’Rourke. I really enjoyed his music growing up, especially his solo songwriter records. As I got older though, I felt strong parallels between our output - his dedication to amassing a wealth of left of center solo material while working hands on with enough big acts to keep him relevant in music circles. A total outsider who managed to make it work, seemingly.

As always listening to a ton of new music, really loving Rihanna's Anti. I recently rediscovered Lauryn Hill's Unplugged, [which is] an incredible masterpiece.

You’ve already dropped a few releases this year...what’s in store from you in the near future? Can we expect another release (or two) before year’s end?
Probably. I just wrapped up an LP with my good friend Maal A Goomba.

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